Valero finalizes purchase of Albion plant

A new sign was in place Monday, marking new ownership of the ethanol plant near AlbionThe long wait is over.

Valero Energy Corp. announced Monday that it finalized the purchase of the Albion ethanol plant last Friday, May 8.

The sale closing came about six weeks after the transaction was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

A total of seven former VeraSun ethanol plants have now been purchased by Valero, giving the company an annual production capacity of 780 million gallons.

The Albion plant sale was last of the seven to be finalized. A special meeting of the Albion City Council was held Thursday, May 7, to amend the original 2006 Redevelopment Agreement on the plant as requested by Valero.

No major changes are planned in the Albion plant’s operation, according to Bill Day, Valero executive director.

All seven of the plants were purchased “with the intent of running them at full capacity,” said Day. “Undoubtedly, over time, there will be some changes from the way things were done previously.”

Day said the restart of production at the Albion plant could take place within 30 days, or by mid-June. Rail transportation is now being arranged.

The number of current employees at the plant was not immediately available, Day said. Many of the previous workers are remaining on staff.

“We may need to add staff, and that will take place over the next couple of weeks,” said Day.

The Albion plant, which is capable of producing 110 million gallons of ethanol per year, stopped production last December after the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of VeraSun Energy Corp.